Kelly Clark & Kazu Kokubo Win 29th Annual Burton US Open Halfpipe
Thousands of people rolled in to Stratton, Vermont for the 29th annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, presented by MINI. Three major titles were awarded today at the US Open, making it one of the biggest days in competitive snowboarding.
Kelly Clark won a record-breaking fifth US Open halfpipe title and her first Burton Global Open Series (BGOS) Championship, a title worth $50,000 and a brand new MINI Countryman. On the men’s side, Kazuhiro Kokubo (JPN) won his second consecutive US Open halfpipe title and Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) earned his second consecutive BGOS Championship title.
“It’s been an incredible season,” said Kelly Clark. “Not only am I happy with the level of my riding, I’ve also had more fun than ever, and my results speak for that. The Open is one of my favorite events, and I feel privileged to have the most halfpipe wins on record. It’s also huge for me to win the Burton Global Open Series title because it’s the one award that’s been elusive for me, so I’m super happy to walk away with it.”
The day kicked off with the women’s halfpipe finals where hometown hero Kelly Clark (USA) stole the show in one of the most exciting women’s finals of the season. All the girls came out swinging from their first run, but Kelly took a healthy lead from the beginning with a score of 91.05. Fellow Vermonter and Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter tried to catch Kelly and went big and technical in her second run, starting out with a huge method followed by a frontside 900 stalefish, a backside 540 melon grab and a frontside 720 stalefish. But Kelly kept topping her own scores, earning the best result with her victory lap. Kelly’s highest scoring run started out with a huge 900 indy grab, a backside 540 mute grab and the only stomped 1080 in the women’s finals. Kelly has had one of the best seasons in the history of snowboarding, and her win today made this her eighth consecutive victory for the season.
In the men’s finals, the riders delivered what the crowd wanted to see – plenty of huge Cab double corks, a double crippler, a 1260 and large doses of style all around. Reigning US Open halfpipe champion Kazuhiro Kokubo held onto his title for the second year in a row with a run that started off with a super smooth frontside alley oop nosebone, frontside 900 melon grab, Michaelchuck nose grab, frontside double cork 1080 and a Cab 1080 melon grab. Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) had a solid first run that earned him second place in today’s finals. And Kohei Kudo (JPN) joined fellow Japanese rider Kazuhiro Kokubo on the podium with a third place finish. Kazu’s third run turned into a victory lap, so he rode straight down the bottom of the pipe with a huge smile on his face and his arms held high. After the competition, Kazu said his victory lap was his prayer for Japan.
“I’m so stoked and so happy,” said Kazuhiro Kokubo “I want to say thanks to my sponsors, family and friends, and I hope my win brings a little joy and happiness to Japan.”
In addition to the halfpipe and BGOS Championship titles, this year’s Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour Champions Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) and Jamie Anderson (USA) were also officially crowned and awarded $50,000 each.
Right after the awards ceremony, a huge crowd gathered to see a free show by Swedish band, ‘The Sounds’.
Later this month, be sure to head to facebook.com/mini to vote for the MINI Creative Use of Space Award worth a total of $50,000 that will be shared by the best male and female rider who have shown creativity and progression throughout the BGOS series.
If you couldn’t make it to Stratton, check out replays of the event at burton.com or metacafe.com. The US Open, presented by MINI, will also air on ESPN2 on March 13 at 4:30 p.m. EST.
Women’s Halfpipe Finals Results
1. Kelly Clark (USA) BURTON 94.95 $20,000
2. Hannah Teter (USA) BURTON 88.10 $10,000
3. Gretchen Bleiler (USA) K2 86.30 $5,000
Men’s Halfpipe Finals Results
1. Kazuhiro Kokubo (JPN) BURTON 90.10 $20,000
2. Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) TSG 88.60 $10,000
3. Kohei Kudo (JPN) OAKLEY 87.90 $5,000
Burton Global Open Series Men’s Final Results
1. Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) BURTON $50,000 and a MINI Countryman
2. Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) TSG $30,000
3. Christian Haller (SUI) BURTON $20,000
Burton Global Open Series Women’s Final Results
1. Kelly Clark (USA) BURTON $50,000 and a MINI Countryman
2. Jamie Anderson (USA) BILLABONG $30,000
3. Kjersti Buaas (NOR) ROXY $20,000
Men’s TTR World Tour Champion
Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) BURTON $50,000
Women’s TTR World Tour Champion
Jamie Anderson (USA) BILLABONG $50,000